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Making peace with summer

Rose of Sharon

Longtime readers of this blog know that summers in the South can be hard to bear, especially after 17 years of the chilly summers of San Francisco. This year I resolved to make peace with summer. I am pleased to say that I have been successful. But this has been an extremely unusual summer.

A couple of weeks ago during a cold snap, a friend a few miles to the north reported that the low one night (in August!) was 49 degrees. I recorded 53 here. The highest daytime temperature that I can recall all summer was 94 degrees. So making peace with this particular summer was not that great a challenge. It has been one of the most beautiful summers I can remember. All summer long, everything has been lush. In July there was 11.8 inches of rain. Since Jan. 1, there has been 54.5 inches. For August so far, there has been 5.6. Oh, if only every summer could be like this one.

The key to getting along with summer is to get up early. That’s when the old-timers in this area got most of their work done. Almost every morning this summer I’ve gotten up as early as 6 (sometimes later) and gone for a long walk while it’s still cool, rain or shine. Then, for the rest of the day, one can guiltlessly retreat indoors to the air conditioning. But that’s another thing. There were weeks-long periods in July as well as some days in August when no air conditioning was needed.

Even now, the air conditioning system is turned off. The temperature is 72 degrees at noon. The low forecast for tonight is 54. August doesn’t get any better than that.

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